The Finnish parliament approves the reform of strict laws on abortion

The Finnish parliament has approved reforms that will expand the country’s strict abortion laws.

Under the amended legislation, citizens will only need a doctor’s approval before terminating a pregnancy.

Under current Finnish law, which dates back to 1970, women needed the approval of two doctors before aborting.

Finnish citizens can now also apply for a medical abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy without having to provide further reasons.

The new reforms were approved Wednesday by 125 cross-cutting lawmakers in Finland’s 200-seat Eduskunta (parliament), while 41 MPs voted against the bill.

“The reform of the abortion law is a much-needed update to the clearly outdated legislation,” the legislator Sara Sofia mermaid of the conservative party of the national coalition told the Finnish public broadcaster YLE.

The reform is about women’s fundamental right to decide about themselves, their bodies and their lives, she added.

The revised law is likely to come into effect early next year. The vote in parliament came after a 2020 citizens’ initiative on the issue received more than 50,000 signatures.